Category Archives: Virus Threats

CryptoDefense Ransomware Virus

As we have provided previously, there has been a bad virus running around for a few months. The virus targets Microsoft Office files, text files, pictures, videos and PDFs.  If infected, the virus will encrypt these files and hold the victims data ransom.

The latest iteration of the cryptolocker virus is known as “CryptoDefense.”   Symantec has analyzed the program and discovered the file encryption is a 2048-bit RSA key.  The virus creators are Microsoft’s infrastructure and Windows API to generate the encryption and decryption keys.  The extortionists are demanding $500 BITCOIN to be paid within a few days.  If you don’t pay on time, the ransom doubles.

According to Jeremy Kirk of Computer World, Symantec has “estimated the cybercriminals received more than $34,000 worth of bitcoin in just a month, showing the effectiveness of their scam.”

In November 2013, the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has issued Alert (TA13-309A) which outlines details and recommendations for dealing with CryptoLocker Ransomware Infections.   See:

Our recommendation is to ensure you have a current on-site and off-site backup.  Frequently update and verify your backups.  Non-compressed backups (or copies) of your files stored on an external hard drive will fall prey to the malware if your system is infected and the drive is plugged in.  Off-site backups which use a mapped drive also can become infected.


Don’t SPAM

So you received an email from a trusted friend.  The email subject reads “This has been verified on!”  First, before you hit the forward button…hit the delete button.  Most of these emails start from the very folks who make malware and virus software.  99% of these are scare tactics.

You should also be very careful when searching the Internet for information about viruses. Doing so will often lead your computer to the path of infection. There are reputable locations to learn about current virus threats, but we don’t consider Snoops to be among them. If you absolutely must do some research, we recommend some of the sites below.

Learn more about the latest email and virus hoax information at SOPHOS

  1. Microsoft Malware Protection Center
  2. Symantec Security Response Team
  3. Wikipedia for a List of Known Viruses